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Subject: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/03/12 at 2:32 pm

My family has gone through many losses in the last 4 years. It started with my grandmother in 2008.

Several years before, my grandmother moved into a retirement community. Before she did, she started downsizing her "stuff". She gave a lot of everyone in the family. When she passed away, there were some things that she couldn't part with which were then distributed to the family. But for the most part, she got rid of many things beforehand. 

Then we lost my sister. Being only in her 50s, she didn't have a chance to downsize so cleaning out her house was a bit of a headache. I wasn't really involved in doing it but 2 of my sisters did.

After my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law left his house in Puerto Rico to go live with my sister-in-law who was living in L.A. at the time. He downsized then and when they both moved back to Puerto Rico, they downsized some more. So, when he passed away, there wasn't too much to go through.

My father didn't downsize at all. When we cleaned out his house in April, he had stuff that he probably should have gotten rid of a long time ago.

My mother has been downsizing. She is giving stuff away and making sure that certain items have a new home after she is gone.

As I am typing this, the house across the street (which lives a little old lady) has a dumpster in the driveway and several people are adding to it. I guess she is downsizing (probably to go live in a home or with a relative). 

One of my sisters mentioned that after cleaning out so many people's houses, she doesn't want others to do that with her stuff. So, she is now downsizing. And she got me thinking. I have mentioned several times that I am a packrat. I have saved stuff from when I was a kid. For the past 10 years or so, I am now able to buy stuff that I always wanted but couldn't afford before. So, I have been buying. And now with our business of buying junk & selling antiques-we are buying more than we are selling.  :-\\ I feel like I am ready to part with some things (but still not with others).

So you spend all your life collecting only to reach a point where you start getting rid of it. I am wondering if I get rid of something, will I regret it? I guess it is a process.

Has anyone else started downsizing? If so, how is it going? Have you dealt with family members who have downsized?

HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS, WINS.


Cat


Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: warped on 08/03/12 at 2:52 pm

I used to be a packrat, but long ago I realised I don’t need all of the stuff I had. I gave most of it away. I really just want to live a simple life. It’s my choice. I am committed to it so it’s quite easy.  I don’t regret 99.9% of the things I gave away or sold.

My mom keeps everything, and anytime I want to get rid of anything (including 30 year old birthday cards with illegible names), I get crucified for it. My mom wants to thropw away nothing ( except take out the trash) . Of course we (sis and I) have to take care of all that stuff when she goes…and my mom doesn’t care that we do or how much work it takes to get rid of stuff, but Mom’s extremely self centered and no one can tell her anything.

I encourage everyone to get rid of stuff. Whenever you move, it’s a pain in the rear to pack all that stuff. Why let it be a burden to you (and others who have to take care of it if you pass away unexpectedly)

It might not be easy at first. But just ask yourself. Do you really need all the things you have?

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: meesa on 08/03/12 at 3:28 pm


My family has gone through many losses in the last 4 years. It started with my grandmother in 2008.

Several years before, my grandmother moved into a retirement community. Before she did, she started downsizing her "stuff". She gave a lot of everyone in the family. When she passed away, there were some things that she couldn't part with which were then distributed to the family. But for the most part, she got rid of many things beforehand. 

Then we lost my sister. Being only in her 50s, she didn't have a chance to downsize so cleaning out her house was a bit of a headache. I wasn't really involved in doing it but 2 of my sisters did.

After my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law left his house in Puerto Rico to go live with my sister-in-law who was living in L.A. at the time. He downsized then and when they both moved back to Puerto Rico, they downsized some more. So, when he passed away, there wasn't too much to go through.

My father didn't downsize at all. When we cleaned out his house in April, he had stuff that he probably should have gotten rid of a long time ago.

My mother has been downsizing. She is giving stuff away and making sure that certain items have a new home after she is gone.

As I am typing this, the house across the street (which lives a little old lady) has a dumpster in the driveway and several people are adding to it. I guess she is downsizing (probably to go live in a home or with a relative). 

One of my sisters mentioned that after cleaning out so many people's houses, she doesn't want others to do that with her stuff. So, she is now downsizing. And she got me thinking. I have mentioned several times that I am a packrat. I have saved stuff from when I was a kid. For the past 10 years or so, I am now able to buy stuff that I always wanted but couldn't afford before. So, I have been buying. And now with our business of buying junk & selling antiques-we are buying more than we are selling.  :-\\ I feel like I am ready to part with some things (but still not with others).

So you spend all your life collecting only to reach a point where you start getting rid of it. I am wondering if I get rid of something, will I regret it? I guess it is a process.

Has anyone else started downsizing? If so, how is it going? Have you dealt with family members who have downsized?

HE WHO DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS, WINS.


Cat


I am one of those ppl that can let things build up if I am not careful and have learned a couple of rules from organizer-type sites and books; I can't remember what book I read this is in, but here are a couple of practical ideas that work:

Start small. Depending upon how much you have, take one room at a time, and get a couple of boxes. Look around at things that you don't remember using within the past 3 months or so. Put those items in the boxes, label them with the current date. Put the boxes to the side in a closet, garage, etc, somewhere out of the way. Six months from that date if you have not pulled any of the items out or used them it is time for them to be donated away.
Exception to the rule: things with sentimental value. If they have some type of sentimental value, you can take a picture of the item and place it in a scrap book. A scrap book takes less space than the item 9 times out of 10. With the picture you can write a paragraph or two in the book of what it means to you.

Hope this helps!  :)

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 08/03/12 at 3:33 pm

I'm on the fence. I love my stuff so much I don't wanna get rid of it. But I have no one to clean out after me when I'm gone. I realize I won't care when I'm gone but the living part of me wonders what will happen to my stuff. Will it get thrown away? Donated? No one will know what half of it is. 


But everytime I sort through stuff to see of I can let it go I usually lose the battle because, as most of you know, I had such a negative experience moving every two years in my childhood that I never had a place to call home. To me the place I live is not home- its the stuff I fill that place with that's home to me. My stuff was the only thing constant in my life.  Everything around me changed except the stuff I owned.

I'm so attached to my stuff that there's very little I would change even if I did win the lotto.


My dad took to downsizing last year and it depressed the hell out of me. It surprises me he's still here. He's been on deaths door many many times in the last few years but he always bounced back---when he started downsizing it felt like he'd given up. He was at a place where he's made peace with death I  not.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: warped on 08/03/12 at 3:33 pm



Start small. Depending upon how much you have, take one room at a time, and get a couple of boxes. Look around at things that you don't remember using within the past 3 months or so. Put those items in the boxes, label them with the current date. Put the boxes to the side in a closet, garage, etc, somewhere out of the way. Six months from that date if you have not pulled any of the items out or used them it is time for them to be donated away.
Exception to the rule: things with sentimental value. If they have some type of sentimental value, you can take a picture of the item and place it in a scrap book. A scrap book takes less space than the item 9 times out of 10. With the picture you can write a paragraph or two in the book of what it means to you.

Hope this helps!  :)


Great practical help. Very organised.
(Sorry, you can't repeat a karma action without waiting 24 hours.)

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 08/03/12 at 3:37 pm



Exception to the rule: things with sentimental value. If they have some type of sentimental value, you can take a picture of the item and place it in a scrap book. A scrap book takes less space than the item 9 times out of 10. With the picture you can write a paragraph or two in the book of what it means to you.

Hope this helps!  :)


Unfortunately that wouldn't work for me. I'm tactile person. I need to touch the object. A photo of a sentimental item does absolutely nothing for me.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: meesa on 08/03/12 at 3:43 pm


Unfortunately that wouldn't work for me. I'm tactile person. I need to touch the object. A photo of a sentimental item does absolutely nothing for me.


I understand completely. I am good at the first suggestion and lousy at the second. I had lost quite a few of my childhood things through some circumstances beyond my control, and all that I have is a couple of picture albums, and a pretty good size teddy bear. The bear I had from age 5, and I am 42 now. I won't give it up because it means so much to me even now!

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: CatwomanofV on 08/03/12 at 3:55 pm


I'm on the fence. I love my stuff so much I don't wanna get rid of it. But I have no one to clean out after me when I'm gone. I realize I won't care when I'm gone but the living part of me wonders what will happen to my stuff. Will it get thrown away? Donated? No one will know what half of it is. 


But everytime I sort through stuff to see of I can let it go I usually lose the battle because, as most of you know, I had such a negative experience moving every two years in my childhood that I never had a place to call home. To me the place I live is not home- its the stuff I fill that place with that's home to me. My stuff was the only thing constant in my life.  Everything around me changed except the stuff I owned.

I'm so attached to my stuff that there's very little I would change even if I did win the lotto.


My dad took to downsizing last year and it depressed the hell out of me. It surprises me he's still here. He's been on deaths door many many times in the last few years but he always bounced back---when he started downsizing it felt like he'd given up. He was at a place where he's made peace with death I  not.



You hit the nail on the head. It is the same way for me, too. I went to 12 different schools before graduating. No, it wasn't a different school every year-some schools I went to for 3 years and some school years I went to 3 different schools. Because we were always moving and with each move, things were lost. It is because of that, I want to hang on to my "stuff". A couple of my sisters are the same way. They try to recapture their childhood by collecting the toys we had when we were kids (well, the ones that were lost anyway).

I feel like I am making progress when I put a shirt, dress or whatever in the bag to go to the clothing drive. I am slowly getting rid of stuff. But, it is going VERY slow-because I am lazy and only do a little at a time.



Cat

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 08/03/12 at 5:05 pm



You hit the nail on the head. It is the same way for me, too. I went to 12 different schools before graduating. No, it wasn't a different school every year-some schools I went to for 3 years and some school years I went to 3 different schools. Because we were always moving and with each move, things were lost. It is because of that, I want to hang on to my "stuff". A couple of my sisters are the same way. They try to recapture their childhood by collecting the toys we had when we were kids (well, the ones that were lost anyway).

I feel like I am making progress when I put a shirt, dress or whatever in the bag to go to the clothing drive. I am slowly getting rid of stuff. But, it is going VERY slow-because I am lazy and only do a little at a time.



Cat


Yeah- I'ce gotten rid of some things- very few. But I consider it a success when I do.
Sometimes Its not tge sentimental aspect- its the $$$ I don't wanna get rid of something because of what it cost me. I learned long ago on clean sweep that it cost more in space to hold on to it.

Ove finally learned to let some of that stuff go. I still count the dollars going out the window and am trying to learn from it. I have a tote box on my car for some things. I'm hoping a friend will have a garage sale I can piggy back on so I can get a few bucks back. Everything else went to the trash or donation.  It's a super slow process and the stuff I love far out weighs anything I can lose but I have decided to stop holding on to negative memories. Peter Walsh taught me that when he cleaned out Mackenzie Phillips house. That has actually been quite cathartic.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: bookmistress4ever on 08/10/12 at 12:39 pm

As odd as it sounds, I watch those hoarding shows to "scare me" into getting rid of stuff.  I mostly hoard clothes, being the size I am, it is often hard for me to find clothes that fit, my proportions are all out-of-whack, and  I'm sloppy so whatever I eat ends up down the front of me.  (Even with napkins, the oil from salad dressing usually soaks through and stains whatever I'm wearing.)  If the piece of clothing is special to me, I will take the time to soak it in a solution of Oxy-clean and liquid detergent or dish-washing liquid.  It does seem to work pretty well.  I have a really hard time getting rid of clothes that may have shrunk in the wash or that I have "outgrown" as such.  I know, once I'm gone, hubby will throw it all away, I mean, he'll give any of my family anything they may want, but throw out the rest.  I asked him if he would wash everything and donate it to a thrift store, since I know I can't be the only one with the problem of finding clothes that fit.  He said he would do that in my memory.  I then realized I should be the one to do that, it is my clothes, my responsibility.  I just have not found that one thing that allows me to release my need to keep it all.  Even stuff that I haven't worn in years.  It's like a sickness that I am not willing to cure.  I am struggling, but hopeful that one day lightning will strike me and I have an "AHA" moment.  :-\\ :-\\ :-\\ :-[ :-[ :-[

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: Gis on 08/12/12 at 9:21 am

I am an unashamed hoarder and Himself is worse than me so our house is full to bursting. My brother is a minimalist and says my house is like one you see on a tv show about hoarders, it isn't quite that bad yet!
I helped my Nan clear her house when she moved in with my aunt and when Himself's Grandma died we had to clear her house which was bloody hard work because she kept a lot of stuff. It's that thing of one man's rubbish being another man's treasure and vice versa, we threw so much of her stuff in the garbage to us it was rubbish but it must have meant something to her to have kept it.

In too spent my childhood moving so possessions became my stability that has never left me and whenever I  clear out 6 months later you would never know!

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: danootaandme on 10/27/12 at 5:23 am

Sig has an extensive collection.  It is orderly and neat, but there is a lot(and I mean a LOT) of it.  He is beginning to realize that one day he will not be here and he wants Jake to get the benefit of it(it is worth a considerable amount) so has decided it might be a good idea to at least catalog the stuff, which is a start.  If things go the way they usually do, he will die first and I will be left to unload what he has.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 10/27/12 at 11:24 am

Trying to unload my dad's cd collection at this garage sale is no fun

He has abt 1000 and I haven't sold one  ::)

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: warped on 10/27/12 at 11:27 am


Trying to unload my dad's cd collection at this garage sale is no fun

He has abt 1000 and I haven't sold one  ::)


Had a garage sale a few years back, tried selling CD's at $3 to $4 each, only a few were sold.  Good luck.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 10/27/12 at 11:29 am


Had a garage sale a few years back, tried selling CD's at $3 to $4 each, only a few were sold.  Good luck.


Yeah I told my mom $1 to $2 each. She said no way.

I'll probably go they them all pick the less obscure ones and sell em to FYE... Maybe I can get a few DVDs outta this mess.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: warped on 10/27/12 at 11:41 am



I'll probably go they them all pick the less obscure ones and sell em to FYE... Maybe I can get a few DVDs outta this mess.


Do it.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 10/27/12 at 1:40 pm

Well I managed to sell 6 of his CDs for $13  ::)

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: CatwomanofV on 10/27/12 at 1:54 pm


Well I managed to sell 6 of his CDs for $13  ::)



Our last yard sale, we sold ONE and I mean ONE record for 50 cents. That was IT!!! That was the only thing we sold that day.  :o :o :o :o  And we live in the center of town!



Cat

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: warped on 10/27/12 at 1:58 pm



Our last yard sale, we sold ONE and I mean ONE record for 50 cents. That was IT!!! That was the only thing we sold that day.  :o :o :o :o  And we live in the center of town!

Cat


Worst 50 cents I ever spent  ;)

http://images.uulyrics.com/cover/w/william-hung/album-hung-for-the-holidays.jpg

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 10/27/12 at 4:50 pm



Our last yard sale, we sold ONE and I mean ONE record for 50 cents. That was IT!!! That was the only thing we sold that day.  :o :o :o :o  And we live in the center of town!



Cat


That sux.

Turned out okay considering it was last minute, no advertising (was gonna list it on Craigslist but didn't) all I did was put up signs at one intersection and the the corner of my parents street) made $75 bucks--- made $225 but we split things 33% even tho my dad can't drive and doesn't go anywhere so his need for spending $ is nil and my helped set stuff up then disappeared in the house cuz she hates garage sales. I did 85% of the work for 33% of the profit  ::) :P

Put most of the crap that didn't sell in a bin for goodwill so at least there's some crap I won't have to clean out later....

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: Howard on 10/27/12 at 8:09 pm


Trying to unload my dad's cd collection at this garage sale is no fun

He has abt 1000 and I haven't sold one  ::)


How much are you selling them for?

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: Howard on 10/27/12 at 8:10 pm


Worst 50 cents I ever spent  ;)

http://images.uulyrics.com/cover/w/william-hung/album-hung-for-the-holidays.jpg


;D

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: snozberries on 10/28/12 at 11:01 am


How much are you selling them for?


$3

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: tv on 05/10/15 at 10:10 pm

I think its start to downsize when you realize that the house is just too big for your needs. You just don't need a certain amount of room anymore that its just a waste of space.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: CatwomanofV on 05/11/15 at 12:28 pm

Oh man, I had forgotten about this thread. Since I wrote about downsizing-I have managed to buy a bigger house and fill it with stuff that I have bought since starting this thread.  :-crap inventory we have in the garage. It is PACKED! We need to get in there, sort it out and get rid of it. We are planning on having a giant garage sale probably next year because that will give us time to sort it out. I am thinking of doing it easy way, give it all back to our local auctioneer to sell it for us-of course we will have to pay him to do that. At least most of the inventory is out there and not taking over the entire house like it was at our old house.

We still go to auctions and still buy crap stuff, but instead of coming home with boxes and boxes full, we will come home with maybe 1 or 2 things. We really need to stop going to auctions.

There is still a lot to go through but since getting back from Puerto Rico, we have been lazy and haven't done much. Even though I am still buying crap stuff, at least I have stopped buying for the massive collections I have (except with my magnet collection because they are small and I have a place to hold A LOT of them.) 


Cat

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: tv on 05/11/15 at 1:22 pm

As far as collecting clutter goes I say "no" to stuff that I don't see keeping in the long run. The easiest  way to collect clutter is when somebody offers something to you at an event or on a trip. You sit the clutter or item(whatever you want to call it) somewhere when you comeback from the event or a trip(like an auto brochure from an auto show) and it sits in the same spot for like a year. Than you throw it out when you find it after a year. Its like why I did need this to begin with? I used to take things anybody offered me for the most part now I know how to say "no" to those kind of offerings unless somebody throws the item in my face I will just take it because I don't want an argument. The other thing I use to collect was "The Programs" from an event like a New York Yankees baseball game besides the auto brochures from the autoshow.  I say "no" to "The Programs" now. because it just "sits around" and on top of that they cost money to buy at the game too. I still have my old sports cards collections from the early 90's though.

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: Howard on 05/11/15 at 3:31 pm


I think its start to downsize when you realize that the house is just too big for your needs. You just don't need a certain amount of room anymore that its just a waste of space.


Even if you've been living in the house for over 40 years? ???

Subject: Re: When To Start Downsizing

Written By: tv on 05/16/15 at 10:58 pm


Even if you've been living in the house for over 40 years? ???
Um yes. A living situation can change in 40 years!

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